G’MAR CHATIMA TOVAH (May you be sealed for good [in the Book of Life])
From PSALM 27 (Robert Alter translation)
11.Teach me, O [God], Your way,
and lead me on a level path
because of my adversaries.
12.Do not put me in the maw of my foes.
For false witnesses rose against me,
From ReformJudaism.org https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/haazinu
Haazinu (הַאֲזִינוּ – [Hebrew for “Listen” when directed to more than one person])
- Moses sings his last song, a love poem to God and a chastisement of the people, who are not worthy of Adonai. (32:1–6)
- The poem recounts the blessings that God has bestowed on the Israelites, the wicked deeds they have committed, and the punishments that God then inflicted upon them. (32:7–43)
- God tells Moses to begin his ascent of Mount Nebo, from where he will see the Land of Israel from a distance but will not be allowed to enter it. (32:45–52)
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haazinu
The bulk of the parashah, the song of Deuteronomy 32:1–43, appears in the Torah scroll in a distinctive two-column format, reflecting the poetic structure of the text, where in each line, an opening colon is matched by a second, parallel thought unit.
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haazinu#On_Shabbat_Shuva
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH
During this week’s Tuesday Morning Minyan with members of Temple Sinai in Oakland, regarding Haazinu, the Darshan read a D’rash by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. What most stood out was the part dealing with freedom. In short, there are two freedoms. One is negative, where each of us can do and say whatever we want whenever we want. The second is positive and marked by personal responsibility. The first leads to anarchy. The second is in short what Haazinu is about. God gives but we must put it into action; we are like God, free and creative as the Eternal. It is up to us to exercise our freedom respecting and considering our fellow human beings, creating a better world.
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haazinu#In_modern_interpretation
IN CRITICAL ANALYSIS
Some scholars who follow the Documentary Hypothesis find evidence of three separate sources in the parashah. Thus, some scholars consider the final counsel of Moses in Deuteronomy 32:45–47 to have been composed by the first Deuteronomistic historian (sometimes abbreviated Dtr 1) who wrote in the time of King Josiah of Judah, circa 622 BCE. Some scholars attribute the bulk of the parashah, Deuteronomy 32:1–44 to an insertion by the second Deuteronomistic historian (sometimes abbreviated Dtr 2) who wrote in the Babylonian captivity after 587 BCE. And then these scholars attribute the conclusion of the parashah, Deuteronomy 32:48–52 to a later Redactor (sometimes abbreviated R) who folded the Deuteronomic report into the context established at the end of the book of Numbers….
In the Masoretic Text and the Samaritan Pentateuch, Deuteronomy 32:8 reports how God set the borders of the peoples according to the number of “the children of Israel.” In a Qumran scroll (4QDeut) and the Septuagint, however, it is the number of “the children of God”, whom [the Dead Sea scholars and general editors] Martin Abegg Jr., Peter Flint, and Eugene Ulrich suggested may mean the divine beings who would serve as protectors for the various nations. Professor Robert Alter argued that this phrase appears to reflect a very early stage in the evolution of biblical monotheism. Alter suggested that it caused later transmitters of the text theological discomfort and probably provoked these transmitters deliberately to change it in the interests of piety. In Alter’s interpretation of the older world-picture, a celestial entourage of subordinate divine beings or lesser deities surrounded the supreme God. In Alter’s reading, the original Deuteronomy 32:8 assumed that God, in allotting portions of the earth to the various peoples, also allowed each people its own lesser deity.
Similarly, in the Masoretic Text and the Samaritan Pentateuch, Deuteronomy 32:43 says, “Sing aloud, O you nations, of His people; for He avenges the blood of His servants, and renders vengeance to His adversaries, and makes expiation for the land of His people.” But in another Qumran scroll (4QDeut, supported by the Septuagint), Deuteronomy 32:43 says, “Rejoice, O heavens, together with Him; and bow down to Him all you gods, for He will avenge the blood of His sons, and will render vengeance to His enemies, and will recompense those who hate Him, and will atone for the land of His people.” [Rabbi] Jeffrey Tigay [Emeritus A.M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures, Yale] suggested that scribes responsible for transmitting the text may have been concerned that readers not envision supernatural beings with power that would encourage the readers to worship these beings along with God.
FOR REFLECTION – from the Temple Sinai High Holy Days Services booklet
Inscribe us in the Book of Life to fulfill Your promise, O God of Life. Sovereign, helper, deliverer, protector, You are praised. Adonai, Shield of Abraham, Support of Sarah.
O God of Israel’s past, God of this day, God of all Flesh, Creator of all life; we praise You, the Most High, for the gift of life; we give thanks, O Source of Good, that life endures.
HIGH HOLY DAYS
As previously explained, for the safety and wellbeing of our members, Temple Kol Hamidbar has decided this year to forego providing either in person or online Yom Kippur Services.
We will have a Shazoom Service for Shabbat Shuvah this evening, Friday, September 25, 2020, and a special Zoom gathering after Yom Kippur to Break-the-Fast at 6 PM on Monday, September 28, 2020. [See below.]
To help make the High Holy Days as meaningful as possible, the Union for Reform Judaism and various congregations within the Reform Movement are providing free online services and resources during the High Holy Days to anyone interested in participating. As a result, Temple Kol Hamidbar is providing the following websites for individuals to access. Please visit their websites for their latest information.
Temple Emanu-El in Tucson, AZ https://www.tetucson.org/
Temple Sinai in Oakland, CA [High Holy Days info] https://www.oaklandsinai-hhd.org/
The Union for Reform Judaism https://urj.org/
“Y’HI RATZON: For the New Year – May it be Your will, Eternal our God, God of all generations, that the year five thousand seven hundred and eighty one bring to us and the whole House of Israel life and peace, joy and exultation, redemption and comfort, and let us say: Amen.” From the Temple Sinai High Holy Day Services prayer booklet
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of brutality, abuse, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, violence, and war; for all those at home alone; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, disease, natural disasters, war and violence. We remember, too, those victims of the Shoah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year and have us to say “Kaddish” for them. “Zichronam liv’rachah” – May their memories be for blessing.
TORAH STUDY AND SHABBAT SHUVAH SHAZOOM
We WILL meet for Torah Study and Shazoom this evening, Friday, September 25, 2020, Erev Shabbat Shuvah.
Zoom continues being updated for security and performance features. In some cases, there are extra steps to go through in order to join a meeting. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this Friday evening:
Topic: Torah Study
Time: Sep 25, 2020 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Sep 25, 2020 07:30 PM Arizona
To join the Torah Study and/or Shabbat Shuvah Shazoom Meeting click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]:
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Please join us online this Monday evening, September 28, 2020 at 6 PM. The Break-the-Fast online event will include sounding the Shofar recently donated in memory of Samuel Klein, a Havdalah ceremony, Motzi, and a chance to schmooze and nosh virtually with members of our community. Please have a Challah, apples and honey or pomegranates, and whatever else with which you wish to Break-the-Fast.
The meeting id and passcode for our Break-the-Fast event are DIFFERENT from our regular Shazoom gatherings:
Topic: Yom Kippur Break the Fast
Time: Sep 28, 2020 06:00 PM Arizona
To join the Break-the-Fast Zoom Meeting click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]:
Meeting ID: 850 4840 5580
If available, all are highly encouraged to have ready a Havdalah set, and/or candle(s), wine/grape juice, and spices for the blessings. Havdalah is intended to require a person to use all five senses: feeling the cup, smelling the spices, seeing the flame of the candle, hearing the blessings and tasting the wine/grape juice.
“If you cannot obtain a Havdalah candle, you can hold two candles close together, so their flames overlap. I [Tracey Rich] have also used party candles (long, very thin candles) that I warmed up and twisted together.” From Judaism 101: Havdalah Home Ritual by Tracey R. Rich https://www.jewfaq.org/havdalahref.htm
The lighted candle symbolizes the light of Shabbat and the strands of the braid have been interpreted as the many types of Jews in the world, all of whom are part of one unified people. From Jewish Virtual Library: Havdalah https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/havdalah
“The twisted havdalah candle also has mystical meanings. It is a torch made up of at least two wicks. The dual candle represents the duality of the material and the spiritual worlds. While the blessing is made over the fire of the candle, there is a traditional practice to gaze at ones cupped hand to observe the light of the candle glinting off the fingertips and the shadow cast by the fingers on the palm. The contemplation of light and dark reminds us of the distinction between the world that we can see around us and the hidden world of God’s presence.” From the blog of Reb Jeff 10/23/2011 https://www.rebjeff.com/blog/havdalah
“While spices are not traditionally included in the Havdalah ceremony that concludes Yom Kippur, many Reform Jews affirm Yom Kippur as Shabbat Shabbaton (the Sabbath of Sabbaths; Leviticus 16:31) – and therefore include spices, even when Yom Kippur falls on a weekday.” From the Reform “Mishkan Hanefesh/Machzor for the Days of Awe”, p.674.
Tizku l’shanim rabot – n’imot v’tovot (may you merit many pleasant and good years),
Shabbat Shalom v’Shana Tovah!